Tag Archives: Management Systems

A SHEQFS-integrated management system for the grain-silo industry of South Africa

First author: Thabang Ramogodi

iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8245-2566

PhD candidate, North-West University, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Potchefstroom Campus.

BSc Plant pathology (UP), BSc (Hons) Plant pathology (UP), MSc Quality Management (UK)

Co-author: Professor Anna-Marie (AMF) Pelser

iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8401-3893

Research Professor, North-West University, Faculty of Economic and Financial Sciences- Entity Director – GIFT, Mafikeng Campus.

HED (Home Economics, PU for CHE), B Com (UNISA), B Com Hons (PU for CHE), M Com (Industrial Psychology, NWU), PhD (Education Management, NWU)

Ensovoort, volume 41 (2020), number 9: 1

ABSTRACT

Rams Grain Storage Business (RGSB) is one of the main agribusinesses in South Africa’s grain silo industry. The research problem involves RGSB’s use of numerous management systems for health & safety, environment, quality and food safety in a silo mind-set, which has adverse effects on resource management and overall company efficiency. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to explore the potential for developing an integrated ISO-based management system. This case study analysis used a single method of research, which was primarily a single quantitative method of study, for the research methodology. Data collection was done through a single technique for collecting data, namely, a questionnaire. Data were analysed using tables and graphs corresponding to them. A response rate of 66 per cent was achieved to the questionnaire. The findings indicated substantial similarities and relationships among all management systems of interest for this study. Finally, the study provided a comprehensive guide for the successful application of IMS.   

Keywords: GSI, IMS, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22001, ISO 45000, Management Systems,

INTRODUCTION

The South African grain industry includes grain (maize, wheat, sorghum, barley, and oats) as well as oilseed (soybeans, canola, soybeans, and groundnuts). The industry includes several key stakeholders who supply the grain processors with agricultural inputs. Other industry stakeholders include farmers, owners of siloes, research organisations, bakers, and financiers, among others. The silo-owning organisations operate in a sub-industry called the grain silo industry (GSI) and are critical for this study. Approximately 85% of GSI is owned by 15-grain handling companies distributed across the country. They are mostly concentrated in the Free State, North West, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo. In South Africa, the industry holds about 17 million tons of bulk storage capacity (Agbiz, 2017).

Most industries use various management systems for health, safety, environment, quality, and food safety and have a silo mentality. According to Rebelo, Santos, and Silva (2016), such a mentality results in different people managing the different systems and, consequently, higher costs. According to Ahsen (2014) and de Oliveira (2013), employees also then have to learn and know many different systems rather than just one. Multiple software and IT infrastructures also results in a substantial financial burden. The high costs are perpetuated by running the processes separately and in some instances in duplicate. The use of management systems in a silo mentality results in increased margins of errors and risks. The disparate systems may also hamper the achievement of long-term quality, health, safety, and food safety objectives (Bernardo et al. 2012, Siva et al. 2016). One management system for quality management, environmental management, health & safety, and food safety is warranted.

Integrated Management Systems (IMS) is no new phenomenon in literature. The related debate, however, should be about the strategies and procedures used to incorporate the different management systems. Various methods can be followed when designing an IMS, according to Jørgensen, Remmen, and Mellado (2006) and Dahlin and Isaksson (2017). Recent developments about increased compatibility between the different ISO standards have paved the way for IMS discussions and ways in which to consider the various aspects of integration.

AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PAPER

This paper aims to investigate the potential for the development of an integrated ISO-based management system for the South African grain silos industry. Following the broad aim, the paper focuses on the following objectives:

  •     Investigate the relationship between different management systems
  •     Develop guidelines for the implementation of an IMS

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

In this study, the dependent variable is IMS, while the independent variables are the different management systems, namely ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO 22001. Figure 3 below shows the different variables and how they are connected:

 

Figure 3: Conceptual framework (Ramogodi 2018)

THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

How a research study is performed is primarily based on the accepted research methodology, the research approach, and the research methods used to achieve the study’s aim and objectives. This section of the paper addresses and elaborates comprehensively on the research model and the methods used for this report, including the research process, research strategy, sampling technique, and data collection and analysis.

Positivism Paradigm    

Positivist researchers are also referred to as resource researchers, according to Bahari (2010), because they try to understand and predict what is happening to the social world by finding regularities and causal interactions between its constituent elements (Bahari, 2010). Positivist researchers use the philosophical point of view to create an understanding of the presence of reality in the real world. Researchers take the view that the researcher is independent of the subject under review and thus perform studies using quantitative methods through experiments, simulations, and statistically repeatable surveys. In positivist research, it is essential to formulate a hypothesis for knowledge testing (Ade Bilau et al., 2018).

This research adopted the positivism paradigm to explore the potential for the implementation of an integrated ISO-based management system in South Africa’s grain silos industry. The reason for adopting the positivism paradigm was that this study wanted to create relationships for building an integrated management system between four different ISO management standards. This paradigm also permitted the use of a questionnaire, which enabled the researcher to collect data independently without being part of the investigation.

Research Method

Quantitative analysis is a research approach that uses organised questionnaires or experiments to collect quantitative data (Rutberg & Bouikidis, 2018). Quantitative research focuses on objectivity and is particularly essential when there is a possibility of collecting quantifiable measurements of variables and inferences from population samples (Queirós et al., 2017). Quantitative research is carried out in a more organised environment, which also enables researchers to control the variables of analysis, environment, and research questions. Quantitative analysis can help explain the relationship between variables and results. Quantitative research includes developing a hypothesis that describes the expected outcome, relationship, or expected outcome of the problem being investigated (Rutberg & Bouikidis, 2018).

Quantitative analysis research was used for this research. The method used a common technique of data collecting (questionnaire) and a corresponding analytical procedure (graphs). The explanation for this selection was based on the target audience’s specific characteristics, as this research study mainly targeted silo managers who are not highly educated and mostly elderly. Therefore, a technique had to be chosen which would be easy to use and that also promoted positivism.

Research Strategy

A case study is a research strategy aimed at explaining the dynamics of specific environments. A case study research method is an empirical investigation that investigates a contemporary phenomenon within the context of real-life, and mainly when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not evident (Ade Bilau et al., 2018). According to Yin (1981) there are two types of case study designs, namely single-case designs used to test a theory, especially in a disconfirming context, and multiple-case, which would involve a collection of cases. This study applied a single case study, which was a grain storage company with 68 units.

For anonymity reasons, Rams Grain Storage Business (RGSB) is a pseudonym for the grain storage business studied. RGSB specialises in the storage and handling of grain and oilseeds and services the needs of farmers in the provinces of the Free State, North West, Northern Cape, and Gauteng. It is situated between the primary producer and processor of grain. It has 68-grain silos with a storage capacity of 4.8 million tons. It handles approximately 25% of the country’s harvest of summer and winter grain, as well as oilseeds in an average production year. RGS has 2 223 silo bins, where grain and oilseeds are taken in, dried, cleaned, and stored.

Sampling Strategy

Data collection was essential to achieving the research goals. Nevertheless, according to Sounders et al., (2016), monetary, time, and access constraints make it impossible to obtain all available data. A sampling technique was then applied to minimise data volume by considering data from a subgroup rather than all potential cases and elements (Sounders et al., 2016). Probability sampling is a sampling technique that provides for equal probability for each person. Analyses carried out with the same sample typically produce results that are generalisable to the entire population of the study. Therefore, if those findings are well used, reliable results can be provided by that particular type of sampling. In particular, cluster probability sampling is used when the research population can be divided into discrete groups based on a common characteristic (Schreuder et al., 2001).

Cluster probability sampling was used for this study, where the study population can be divided into discrete groups based on a common characteristic. An effort was made to distribute the questionnaire to all management and support function workers with access to the organisational email. The email medium was chosen because it provided a confidentiality mechanism. The use of email made the questionnaire available to workers and it was less tedious. Only one delivery method was used to ensure that there was no duplication, as only one questionnaire can be performed per computer. The population was made up of 74 people, including executive management, senior management, silo management, and support function staff. The entire population was sampled.

Data Collection

Sounders et al., (2016) report that questionnaires are used widely in both business and management research. Respondents complete self-completed questionnaires via a channel such as an email, web, postal or mail or hand-delivered (Sounders et al., 2016). A structured questionnaire was used to collect data for this study. It is imperative to mention that only close-ended questions were used in the questionnaire for this study. Open-ended questions were purposely excluded because of the type of audience that this study targeted. The research targeted mostly silo managers. The questionnaire therefore had to be clear and straightforward to facilitate participation. This questionnaire was circulated by email to a representative group of RGSB workers made up of silo managers and personnel in support functions.

All selected staff members were given a single questionnaire. The questionnaire’s individual questions were derived from the literature review. In designing these questions, due consideration was given to the aims and ultimate goal, the form and length of questions, target participants, and the protection of participants’ privacy. The questionnaire was composed of two sections. Part 1 asks questions about the demographics, emphasising the respondent’s position, location, and experience. Part 2 was meant to gauge the Integrated Management System’s independent variables. The variables were measured on a five-point Likert-type scale.

Rensis Likert first developed a scale of the Likert type in 1931 (Croasmun & Ostrom, 2011). This technique was initially described and developed for assessing attitude. This measuring scale can also be used as a reliable method for self-efficacy measurements. The scale includes an individual’s answer to a sequence of statements with the ultimate goal of selecting from five choices that range from strongly disagreeing to strongly agreeing. Since each answer is assigned a point value – Table 1 (Croasmun & Ostrom, 2011) – an individual’s score is then calculated by adding the point values of all the statements.

Table 1: Five-point Likert-type scale (Croasmun & Ostrom, 2011)

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly  Agree
1 2 3 4 5

Data Analysis

Quantitative data, especially in its raw form, offers little in the way of being able to make sense of the data. The data must be interpreted and analysed to make it more user-friendly and useful. Furthermore, data would need to be analysed to turn it into useful information. Quantitative data analysis techniques such as graphs, charts, and statistics help us process and interpret data. They ultimately allow us to track patterns and data relationships, and support us in practically investigating, processing, and delivering the data (Sounders et al., 2016).

The primary data obtained through the questionnaire were evaluated using Microsoft Excel’s simple statistical tools to determine whether the questionnaires were completed correctly and whether the responses were appropriate. The information was presented using tables and graphs. No matter how careful and alert one is during data entry and analysis, one is bound to make errors and mistakes. Therefore, as suggested by Saunders et al., (2016), the researcher used many methods to test data for errors so that they could be mitigated in terms of their effect on this analysis. Such guidelines often require the review of illegitimate codes and illogical relationships, for example.

RESEARCH FINDINGS

This research segment discusses the questionnaire results in the form of tables and bar graphs. The analysis will briefly link the questionnaire’s results to the available literature.

Survey results: Biographical information

This section was essential for understanding the calibre of the respondents. This research used cluster sampling and divided the sample into executive management, senior management, silo management, and support function. The results (Table 2) showed responses of 50% by executive management, 100% by senior management, 100% by support functions, and 59% by silo management. The average response rate for the study was 66%.

Table 2: Survey response rate by designation

Population group Population Sample Response Rate%
Executive management 2 2 1 50%
Senior management 6 6 6 100%
Silo management 58 58 34 59%
Support function 8 8 8 100%
TOTAL 74 74 49 66%

The findings (Table 3) further show that more than 70% of respondents have more than five years of service at RGSB. The results of this study are thus accurate and credible. The respondents know and understand the organisation well.

Table 3: Survey response rate by experience

Population group Response % Response count
1 to 5 years 24 12
6 to 10 years 27 13
11 to 20 years 18 9
21 to 20 years 31 15
Total response count 49
Answered questions 22
Values %- Peak values in Bold

 Survey results: The relationship between different management systems

The next six sets of question statements were structured to analyse the relevance of this study in terms of relationships between the various management systems: Food Safety Management System, Environmental Management System, Quality Management System, and Health & Safety Management System. Such relationships were necessary to ensure that all these systems could be incorporated into a single management system, which would also be an integrated management system.

S/Q1 – RGSB has an effective quality management system

The question statement has been designed to assess the respondents’ views on the efficiency of the quality management system of RGSB. The results (Figure 1) showed that the majority (53%) agreed that their quality management system is effective. Besides, 29% strongly supported the statement, and 10% disagreed with the statement, while just 4% of the respondents were undecided. The survey response contradicts the quality management implementation status, since RGSB has had neither ISO 9001 nor Six Sigma nor Lean or similar in place. However, RGSB participates in quality-orientated practices which suggest a certain degree of quality management commitment. The inconsistency may be attributed to the respondents’ lack of knowledge and comprehension of quality management systems. They may think that RGSB has a formal quality management system in place, which is not the case.

Figure 1: Response to S/Q1

S/Q2 – RGSB has an effective Environmental Management System

This question statement aimed to assess the respondents’ perception of the effectiveness of the environmental management systems of their organisation. The results (Figure 2) suggested that the respondents strongly believed that their environmental management system was effective –  53% agree with the statement and 20% agree strongly with the statement. Just 10% disagreed with the statement, and 4% disagreed strongly. The findings, however, contradict the company’s existing stance in terms of implementing an environmental management system. The study and examination of the financial reports of the RGSB, sustainability reports, the website of the organisation, and other relevant information showed that the organisation had not implemented any formal or informal environmental management systems. Nevertheless, specific pro-environment initiatives demonstrated a commitment to improving the environment at their place of operation. This inconsistency may be due to lack of knowledge and comprehension of the environmental management system.

Figure 2: Response to S/Q2

S/Q3 – RGSB has an effective Health and Safety Management System

This question statement was intended to determine the respondent’s perception of the efficacy of the health and safety management system of their business. Results (Figure 3) showed that most respondents (53%) agreed and 35% strongly agreed with the statement. Very few respondents (4%) disagreed with the statement, and about 4% were undecided as to whether or not the system was effective. The findings are in line with the analysis of the health & safety management system of the organisation, which indicated that RGSB has a structured system and is sufficient to a certain extent. The questionnaire did not, however, allow the respondents to explain why they think the system was effective. The questionnaire was merely based on the respondent’s viewpoint regarding the system. According to Mohammadfam et al., (2016), the efficacy or performance of the health & safety management system can be assessed using various conventional metrics. Those metrics include the number of sick leave days due to injury, injury severity rate (ISR), number of Lost Time Injuries (LTI) and injury frequency rate (IFR). This research did not go as far as examining and meeting specific criteria for assessing the efficacy of health & safety management performance systems.

Figure 3: Response to S/Q3

 S/Q4 – RGSB has an effective Food Safety Management System

This question statement intended to determine the respondent’s perception of the efficacy of the food safety management system of RGSB. Results (Figure 4) showed that 51% of the respondents agreed that RGSB had an effective food safety management system, and 3%  agreed strongly with this notion. On the other hand, only 4% of respondents disagreed with the notion, and 2% disagreed strongly. The remaining 12% of the respondents were undecided. Although RGSB has not yet adopted a formal food safety management system such as ISO 22000 or FSSC 22000, the company has established food safety management systems that comply with South Africa’s regulatory and statutory laws. The establishment of the system is evident from RGSB’s review on the status of food safety management through the financial reports of the RGSB, sustainability reports, the website of the organisation, and other relevant information that resonate with the questionnaire responses . The questionnaire did not allow the respondents to make a distinction between formal and informal management of food safety systems. The study only allowed respondents to provide their perspective on the system.

Figure 4: Response to S/Q4

S/Q5 – There are similarities between all or some of the systems

This question-statement intended to determine whether the respondents believed there were parallels between four of the management systems of interest to this study. The majority of respondents (69%) agreed with the notion that there are similarities in all or some of the systems (Figure 5). Also, 20% of the respondents strongly agreed with the statement. On the other hand, only 4% disagreed while 6% were undecided. The vast majority of respondents (6) believe there are parallels of interest between all management systems in this study. This notion resonates well with literature as confirmed by the study conducted by Dahlin and Isaksson (2017), which showed that organisations had made several attempts to explore the similarities in these systems by combining them into one system. It is reinforced by Simon et al., (2012a) who noted the challenges of incorporating these systems, even though similarities exist.

Figure 5: Response to S/Q5

S/Q6 – The four systems mentioned above can be combined into one system

This question statement was very significant in this study since it would gauge the respondents’ perception of the potential integration of the four management systems. The results (Figure 6) showed that the majority of respondents (55%) agreed with the concept that the four separate quality, environment, health & safety and food safety management systems could be combined into one. The concept was also strongly agreed to by 20% more respondents. Only 10% of the respondents disagreed with the notion while 14% remained undecided. These findings were well associated with the previous question statement (S / Q5) on the similarities between the different systems. In both question statements, the majority of respondents believe that there are correlations between these systems and they can be merged into one system. The integration of these systems is backed by the likes of Ribeiro et al., (2017) and Tepaskoualos and Chountalas (2017) who in their respective studies revealed that the future of IMS requires complete management systems integration.

Figure 6: Response to S/Q6

DISCUSSION OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS

The first objective was to examine the relationship between various systems of management. The aim was to determine whether the respondents believed that there were any correlations between the different quality, environment, health and safety, and food safety management systems. A set of 6 question-statements was used to satisfy this objective. Such relationships or similarities were significant for possible management system integration. The conclusion from this section of the study was that the four management systems in question had similarities. Nevertheless, this part of the analysis also revealed a lack of knowledge and understanding of different management systems, which would suggest a need for training and is addressed in depth in the study’s recommendations.

The findings agreed with studies by Siva et al., (2016), Ahsen (2014) and Bernardo et al., (2009) who elaborated that there are relationships between some of the management systems that are important to this research, namely quality, environment, and health & safety. Question statements S/Q1 to S/Q6 of this study were aimed at determining whether the respondents believed that there were correlations between the management systems of interest for this study and if the findings correlated with studies conducted by Dahlin and Isaksson (2017) and Simon et al., (2012a). The notion of integration was further endorsed by De Oliveira (2013) and Fonseca (2015). Moreover, ISO’s introduction of the high-level structure, confirms that Annex also strengthened the idea that the various systems have similarities. The integration of the various management systems based on ISO would therefore be more straightforward now than ever before.

Previous studies have shown that various management systems can be combined into a single system. However, the pertinent question here would be, What degree of integration is feasible? Simon et al., (2012a) answer that question by suggesting that integration should be separated into categories. Commonly, attempts to integrate management systems have been made mostly on the level of quality, environmental, and health & safety to the exclusion of Food Safety (Ahsen, 2014; Bernardo et al., 2009; Dahlin & Isaksson, 2017). This exclusion of food safety can be attributed to the uncertainty associated with integrating  multiple management systems (Simon et al., 2012a). Besides, the literature on integrating the food safety management system with the three above mentioned clusters is minimal. Most previous studies failed to outline the frameworks and techniques to be employed when various management systems are integrated. Consequently, the importance of this study is justified by the attempt to combine food safety with quality, environment, and health & safety.

GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AN IMS

Following a careful review of the results of the questionnaire, the researcher has formulated guidelines that will bring improvements to the organisation in terms of quality, environment, health & safety, and food safety management. Moreover, the researcher strongly believed that such improvements would lead to an overall increase in organisational efficiency. This study suggests introducing IMS in the grain silo industry at RGSB as well as other related organisations. Before implementation, however, many prerequisite issues such as leadership commitment, culture, education and training, and performance and reward must be addressed for the implementation of IMS to be a success. Those prerequisite issues are discussed below.

Commitment and Leadership

IMS’s success is highly dependent on top management commitment. Leadership engagement, management involvement, and participation are vital to the creation and maintenance of a good IMS that will bring benefits to all stakeholders. Instituting, maintaining, and scaling up stakeholder satisfaction is essential for realising these benefits. Top management should recognise activities such as (1) creating a vision, SMART goals and policies that are in line with organisational purposes; (2) cultivating people’s trust by leading by example; (3) communicating corporate principles and providing clear guidance concerning IMS; (4) researching and designing new ways of doing things going forward. Top management must also participate in continuous improvement projects; (5) knowing whether the IMS achieves its goals by receiving direct input from employees; (6) recognising both core and supporting processes that add value to the company; (7) empowerment and growth of employees; (8) creating a favourable atmosphere for employee participation; (9) making available resources and systems to support organisational strategic plans.

Training and education

Top management and all unit managers should be educated in understanding and applying all of the relevant ISO management systems and IMS. All other staff should undergo both ISO and IMS knowledge training. If done correctly, education and training have the potential to improve the organisational performance and productivity significantly through employee engagement, encouragement and support. Employee participation is crucial for the proper implementation of IMS. All employees should be encouraged to participate.

Culture

It is vital to change the organisational culture into one that embraces change and the integration of management systems. Organisational culture essentially defines how an organisation’s business is conducted. The appropriate organisational culture is thus essential for the company to succeed in implementing IMS, as it will create a strong foundation for IMS. A culture of learning is crucial for IMS’ success. It helps the company learn from past experiences and foster professional growth and training.

Performance and Reward

IMS requires performance metrics not only to provide an indicator of the success of the company in achieving its goals but also to act as a motivation for employees to achieve excellence. Employees need to feel that they are respected and valued for their work on behalf of the organisation. The best way to do so is to reward the kinds of actions and attitudes that the company wishes to encourage. The performance assessment method should involve the development of practical Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) and goals, as well as process management that involves aspects such as tracking, evaluating, and analysis. The method must also be able to provide feedback and performance intervention in the form of good performance rewards and bad performance penalisation. In the short term, the costs related to the initial investment could outweigh the financial benefits. Also, costs can increase in the short to medium term as the company invests in the initial IMS analysis, preparation, and IMS implementation. However, the investment will yield substantial results in the long term when it comes to operational efficiency and financial returns.

The Implementation of IMS

Often referred to as parallel structures, IMS can be defined as developing an amalgamated management framework using the similarities of various management standards. However, even though they are kept in the same manual, the description of each procedure needs to be preserved. The duplication and complexity of jobs, which usually arises with the introduction of various management principles, is thus significantly reduced (Raišiene, 2011).

The goal of the IMS is to show how the various quality, health & safety, environment, and food safety management systems complement and impact each other by providing a consistent and uniform representation of the different systems. Moreover, it aims to clarify how these partnerships will help with risk control and overall business performance (Pardy & Andrews, 2009). The IMS exists to promote the organisations’ priorities and overall business progress through the handling of interrelated and interconnected organisational processes. It can never be overemphasised how important it is to appoint the right people with the requisite authority and expertise to all the critical tasks that need to be completed. The same is true for performance assessment because all this is a waste of time without a performance review. The performance review should be done against the goals of the systems and not the goals of the functions (Hoyle, 2009).

Researchers and theorists have put forward various approaches to the advancement of IMS. The implementation of a new approach depends, however, on whether a company has one or more management systems in place, as well as the number of systems it plans to implement. Our case study organisation does not have any structured ISO-based management system in place. Consequently, an entirely new IMS should be built and the focus should be on the systems and processes that involve management. The most significant benefit this strategy will have is that it will achieve uniformity and coherence at all levels of the organisation (Dalling & Holt, 2012).

To ensure that the IMS is accurate, reliable and capable of achieving its expected results, theorists caution against trying to implement many different management standards. Instead, it is recommended that companies seek to only incorporate management systems that the organisation requires and that can add value in terms of contributing to the overall improvement of the business. Also, it is imperative that the workers who are doing the actual work be inspired and involved. The company should avoid attempting to incorporate IMS from functional leaders’ position as doing so often causes confusion and concern among employees. A process approach should be followed, paying attention to essential processes to ensure that the IMS is successful and achieves its goals (Raišiene, 2011).

A 100% amalgamation of ISO 9001:2015 for quality management, ISO 14001:2015 for environmental management, ISO 45001:2018 for health & safety management, and ISO 22001:2018 for food safety management should be assumed. The primary aim of this amalgamation is to achieve the corporate goals and promote stakeholders’ satisfaction. The total management of the organisational processes through an integrated management system should achieve that. As far as the policy is concerned, there should be one policy that incorporates a set of common goals – namely all the goals and objectives of the different systems (Whitelaw, 2004).

When applying IMS, the top-down approach should be adopted. The starting point for this to be useful is recognising the needs of the organisation. The system must be incorporated into the strategic planning and business strategy. Risk management also needs to form a critical part of the corporate plan. The focus must also be on the need to manage the process as a project by following the key steps (Figure 7) identified by Dalling and Holt (2012).

Figure 7: IMS Implementation Steps (Dalling & Holt, 2012)

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), as suggested by ISO, should be used as a basis for providing a roadmap for the effective implementation of IMS. The plan will require more stages that go further than certification. It should explain how the IMS can be easily sustained and should include the difficult task of developing observable performance metrics in each of the four areas of concern, namely quality, environment, health & safety, and food safety (McCourt, 2009).

Figure 8: The PDCA cycle (Gonzalez, 2020)

In its implementation, the IMS should also follow the structure of Annex SL. This approach will make implementation simple. The Annex SL structure (figure 9) has been adopted by all four standards of interest, which means that the set of requirements, terminology and format is standardised. Annex SL prescribes the high-level structure, common meanings and words, and the same core text of the standards (CQI and IRICA, 2015).

Figure 9: Annex SL High-Level Structure (Cooper, 2015).

CONCLUSION

This study showed that there were relationships and similarities between the four standards that were of interest to this study, namely ISO 9001:2015 for quality management, ISO 14001:2015 for environmental management, ISO 45001:2018 for health and safety management, and ISO 22001:2018 for food safety management. The study also suggested that the adoption and implementation of an integrated management system can be of great benefit to companies in the grain silo industry. However, there are prerequisite issues such as leadership commitment, culture, education and training, and performance and reward, which need to be addressed before implementing an IMS Implementation and a top-down approach must be followed. The organisations must integrate only those systems that add value to organisational performance. Finally, the system must be based on the PDCA cycle and adopt the high-level structure of Annex SL.

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